Crumbling mill set to be turned into flats

A planning application to change the use of High Mill in Selkirk into flats and maisonettes has been granted, six years after it was first tabled.
A planning application to change the use of High Mill in Selkirk into flats and maisonettes has been granted, six years after it was first tabled.

A planning application to turn a Selkirk eyesore into flats has been approved by Scottish Borders Council – six years after it was first tabled.

The delay was due to a legal wrangle over who owned the Victorian-built High Mill, part of Forest Mill in the town’s Weavers Court, which Matthew Claridge plans to turn into 16 flats.

The planning application sought consent for change of use from redundant industrial mill as well as the alterations to turn it into flats and maisonettes.

When the original owner of the site – George Roberts & Co – went into liquidation, the crown declined to take ownership of the site.

However, Mr Claridge has now had a prospective legal title for the land accepted by Registers of Scotland, so is now in a position to enter into a legal agreement.

However, the years between the tabling of the application and the planning approval have taken their toll on the B-Listed building – which is on the buildings at risk register.

In August 2016, an external inspection found holes have opened up in the roof, and vegetation and saplings were growing through the SE elevation.

It was also found that the guttering and drainpipes were chocked with vegetation and the building’s condition moved to very poor.

Selkirk Community Council heartily recommended approval for the flats back in 2012, and during Monday’s meeting, planning spokesperson Ian King welcomed the approval by council.

However, the community council urged that, “in the interests of road and public safety, the present through access from Dunsdale Road to Weavers Court should be closed to vehicles immediately”.

The planning approval comes with a schedule of 13 conditions attached, which relate to materials used in the redevelopment for windows and doors, landscaping, water supply and drainage, and the correct handling of the current site of a jackdaw nest.